hearing on forests & development, back to school info & more

September is looking to be a very busy month! Here’s a rare mid-week update for you, before I send my pre-Council briefing this weekend.  

Thursday night - Forest protection ordinance up for public hearing at the Planning Commission

This Thursday the Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing on my proposed ordinance O-27-18, No Net Loss of Forests. The intent of this ordinance is to ensure that developers are required to replace every acre of forest they remove. This is the requirement homeowners have, and this is what developers should have to follow as well. It’s important for our water quality, for our wildlife, and for our health. This ordinance will apply to all development applications without their final forest conservation approval, including Crystal Spring. As an example of how our current law isn’t working very well, Crystal Spring is proposing to clear 40 acres of forest, and they only need to replace 16 acres under the current law. This needs to change. The hearing will be at 7pm in the City Council chambers. After this hearing, the Planning Commission will release their findings and the ordinance will go back to the Council for a full public hearing, probably on September 24th.

Fall Greenscape

Mayor Gavin Buckley and the Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department invite community members to participate in the nation’s annual Make A Difference Day by volunteering for the city’s fall GreenScape project on Saturday, October 27. Make a Difference Day is a national effort encouraging groups and individuals to volunteer in their community to improve the lives of others.

Volunteers participating in this year’s fall GreenScape are encouraged to take part in the Journey North Tulip Test Gardens initiative. By participating, you will help scientists track season and climate changes around the world. When your tulips emerge and bloom, it will announce the arrival of spring in Annapolis. For more information, please go to https://journeynorth.org/tm/tulips/HowTo.html.

Reservations for bulbs starts Monday, September 10. Volunteers may order up to 100 tulip bulbs and 100 daffodil bulbs for each project. This year we will be offering red tulips and yellow daffodils. The bulbs are free but only available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To place an order, please e-mail Marisa Wittlinger at [email protected] and provide your name, contact phone number and organization (if applicable), and indicate what public landscape area you will be planting and the number of bulbs you’re requesting. Bulb pick-up will be held Monday through Friday, October 22-26 at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center located at 273 Hilltop Lane in Annapolis.

Forest Drive & Eastport Study Public Review Draft Now Available

The latest draft of the sector plan as of Friday, August 31st is now available. If you have an opportunity please review this plan. While I have not had a chance to review this draft yet, I have had a number of concerns in the past about whether or not they have heeded public comments and about how they seemed to be pushing for more development rather than a steady state development plan. Hopefully that has changed. Please let me know what your comments are. This plan will be coming to the City Council for approval, and I want to consider your comments before that vote arrives.

Here is a description of the Sector Study from the report itself:

The Forest Drive/Eastport Sector Study ushers in a new era for urban planning and the integration of land use, economic development, technology, and mobility. It provides a specific vision for this part of the City and begins to lay the groundwork for the next Comprehensive Plan for the City of Annapolis. Under current regulations, there is a significant amount of development capacity in this portion of the City. This plan attempts to change the character of that possible development, not necessarily to encourage more development.

Ward 7 Concert & Happy Hour at Back Creek park

The Annapolis Maritime Museum is hosting a community Happy Hour at Back Creek Park (Ellen Moyer Nature Park) from 5-6pm on September 6th. Called "Wine, Goats, & Goat Cheese", this event is hosted by the Museum with support from Baywoods and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. You can enjoy complimentary drink while watching local, environmentally-friendly eco-goats transform the park. Following the reception will be the first installment of the new "September Sunsets Concert Series" from 6-8pm.

Back to School Celebration

Next meeting of the Annapolis Education Commission

You're cordially invited to participate in the next monthly meeting of the Annapolis Education Commission on Monday, September 17th, 2018 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Walter S. Mills-Parole Elementary School (1 George and Marion Phelps Lane).  

Dr. Pamela Brown, Executive Director at Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families will be presenting information she has gathered throughout the past year for the Safe & Thriving Communities Grant.  Various agencies in Anne Arundel County have collaborated throughout the year and the formal grant application is due to the federal government in October. Dr. Brown is seeking the input of the Annapolis Education Commission and meeting attendees for additional information to contribute to the Annapolis collaborative portion of the Safe & Thriving Communities grant.  To learn more about this process, I invite you to peruse the press release announcing the grant from last year: https://www.aacounty.org/news-and-events/news/2017/11/13/county-executive-steve-schuh-announces-738000-grant-to-combat-gangs-and-youth-violence

The Annapolis Education Commission  is a part of the government of the city of Annapolis.  Its mission is to serve as a forum for issues concerning public education in the city. The group meets monthly, generally on the first Monday of each month, 5:30-7:00 pm, in rotating locations. All members of the public are welcome and invited to participate. Public testimony is welcome and encouraged - please check in with the chair prior to the start of the meeting.

Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination project began August 30th

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health has started conducting the Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Project. Edible baits will be placed throughout Anne Arundel County to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The project should be completed by the end of September, weather permitting.

The Baits…
    Contain liquid rabies vaccine.
    Will be placed in neighborhoods by ground teams of trained Department of Health staff. Teams will wear shirts with Department of Health logos and travel in marked County vehicles.
    Will be dropped from a low-flying County Police helicopter in less-populated areas.
    Are in two types. One looks like a ketchup packet with a light brown waxy coating. The other looks like a small brown brick, is approximately 0.75 inches thick by 1.25 inches square, and has a plastic packet inside. In both types of bait, the vaccine is contained within the packet.
    Are marked with a 1-800 phone number. Anyone who comes in contact with the bait or has a pet that finds the bait is asked to call the 1-800 number or 410-222-7192.

The Vaccine…
    Immunizes raccoons when the animal bites into the packet that contains the vaccine.
    Cannot cause rabies and is not harmful to raccoons, pets or other animals.
    Has a very low human health risk. However, it is advised that the following individuals avoid handling the bait:
    People younger than 18 years old
    Pregnant women
    Anyone with a compromised immune system
    Anyone with a chronic skin condition

The Department of Health recommends that pet owners keep their pets confined or on a leash during the baiting and for two weeks thereafter. If your pet finds a bait, carefully remove the bait from your pet’s mouth.

For more information about the ORV Project, which began in Anne Arundel County in 1998, visit www.aahealth.org/orv.

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  • Rob Savidge